Celebrate Pro Bono Week Oct. 24 - Oct. 30

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  • | 12:00 p.m. October 4, 2010
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by Kathy Para, JBA Pro Bono Committee Chair

Northeast Florida events and observances

Purpose to Celebrate Pro Bono Week:
• To recognize the service of pro bono attorneys providing assistance to low-income persons.
• To recruit more pro bono attorneys to provide legal services to low-income persons.
• To build awareness of pro bono legal services in the broader community (not just the legal community).

Local efforts and events in observance of Celebrate Pro Bono Week:

• Sept. 30: Local observances were kicked off at The Jacksonville Bar Association Luncheon at the Hyatt Downtown, at which Florida Supreme Court Chief Justice Charles T. Canady was the speaker. In addition, the mayor issued a Mayoral Proclamation designating Oct. 24-30 as the official Celebrate Pro Bono Week in Jacksonville. There was also a Pro Bono Opportunities Fair and the debut of the “Accept ONE Case” display board. Agencies providing legal services to low-income clients had information tables and displays: Fourth Judicial Circuit Pro Bono Committee-Accept-ONE-Case, Jacksonville Area Legal Aid and Northeast Florida Medical Legal Partnership, Guardian ad Litem, The Law Offices of Public Defender Matt Shirk, and Florida Coastal School of Law - Legal Clinics. Attorneys had the opportunity to review case summaries, accept pro bono cases, and learn about the variety of pro bono opportunities that positively impact the lives of the low-income and underserved in the Fourth Judicial Circuit.

• Oct. 2: Guardian ad Litem, Annual Volunteer Appreciation Dinner. The Guardian ad Litem program recognized the many contributions of Guardian ad Litem volunteers with a reception and dinner. The event was held at the University of North Florida and included a cocktail reception and dinner.

• Oct. 15: The Law Offices of Public Defender Matt Shirk, Pro Bono Opportunities Criminal Law Training, in the First Floor Conference Room of the Public Defender Office and will feature five CLE courses touching on different aspects of criminal law. Upon completion of the training session, participants will be appointed as Special Assistant Public Defenders (SAPDs) and become eligible for a later assignment to one misdemeanor case. Contact Cynthia Hunold at (904) 630-1578 or [email protected] for more information.

• Oct. 26, 5:30-7:30 p.m.: Meet JALA-Meet the Judges-Meet the Candidates Open House. With sponsorship by Harrell & Harrell, P.A., and Florida Coastal School of Law, the Board of Directors of Jacksonville Area Legal Aid (JALA) invites area attorneys to an open house and reception as a “thank you” to pro bono attorneys and supporters and to provide information on the depth and scope of civil legal services provided to low-income persons. Guests may take a 15-minute, self-guided tour of the JALA downtown offices (126 W. Adams St.) ending in the sixth floor conference room for a wine and cheese reception and an opportunity to meet and greet some of our Fourth Circuit Judges and mayoral candidates. Attorney response is appreciated, but not required: Kathy Para, Esq., Pro Bono Development Coordinator, [email protected]

• Oct. 28, 11 a.m.-1 p.m.: Florida Coastal School of Law, Fall Forum of Pro Bono and Volunteer Opportunities. The purpose is to encourage and educate students who will soon be practicing attorneys to be involved with pro bono representation of low income clients. Legal services organizations and other community resource providers are invited to set up displays and distribute information on volunteer and pro bono opportunities for students and attorneys. A boxed lunch will be provided. For more information,contact Karen Millard, Esq., Director, Pro Bono Programs, Florida Coastal School of Law, [email protected]

• Oct. 29, 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m.: Basic Landlord/Tenant Law: CLE training webinar on Basic Landlord/Tenant Law, taught by Lois Ragsdale, Esq., Professor, Florida Coastal School of Law. Webinar is free of charge and participants are asked to accept at least one pro bono case within a year of viewing CLE. To register, visit: https://www1.gotomeeting.com/register/863967873 or contact Kathy Para, Esq., [email protected]

• Nov. 5, 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m.: Foreclosure Defense and Consumer Rights Training: CLE seminar for pro bono attorneys to be held at Florida Coastal School of Law, 8787 Baypine Road, Room 365. The seminar will be taught by April Charney, Esq. Interested attorneys should contact Atheia Inman, Training Coordinator, [email protected]

• Nov. 6, 9 a.m.-noon: JBA Ask-A-Lawyer Forum, Gateway Shopping Center. Sponsored by The Jacksonville Bar Association, Pro Bono Committee and Grace and Truth Community Development Corporation and staffed by pro bono attorneys, Ask-A-Lawyer forums are held in collaboration with members of the Jacksonville City Council. Attorneys provide 10-15 minute, legal guidance interviews in areas of expertise. Interested attorneys should contact Kathy Para, Esq., JBA Pro Bono Committee, Chair, [email protected] for more information.

Contact Kathy Para, Esq., Chair of the Pro Bono Committee for the Jacksonville Bar Association: [email protected], 356-8371, ext. 363, for additional information.